6 Easy Steps to Having the Best Family Christmas Photoshoot

‘Tis the season!

It’s that time of year again when the sleigh bells start ringing and the children start singing, which can only mean one thing... time to start planning your annual family photoshoot! Oh what FUN! I know the stress of the holidays can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but capturing your Christmas photos shouldn't! Here are my 6 easy steps to help you make this year’s photoshoot the best one yet.

Cue the Christmas carols!

1. Plan ahead.

The holiday season is hectic, there are no two ways about it, and leaving photoshoot preparations for the last minute will only add to the madness of it all. That’s why it’s so important to plan, plan, plan!! I can’t stress this enough. Think about outfits well in advance, do some research on the style you’re going for, and work out the logistics for the day of the shoot.

If you’re shooting with me, I’ll be in touch as soon as you’ve booked your session to assist with the process. I want this experience to be as joyful and stress-free as possible! Just a heads up, I launch my Christmas packages mid-September and start shooting soon after so like I said, plan ahead!!

2. Choose your clothing carefully.

Outfits can make or break a photoshoot. No pressure!!

A good rule of thumb is to coordinate your clothing without being too matchy-matchy. Think about your personalities as individuals and as a family… are you a silly group or more of a serious bunch? Also, consider the types of photos you’d like to achieve… casual, formal, somewhere in between?

Another thing to keep in mind… if you plan to shoot in front of a busy backdrop and/or with props, simple clothing is the way to go. Too many patterns and colours take away from the photos and end up looking messy. If you’ll be shooting outside or against a simple backdrop, you still want to stick with 3 or 4 main colours, but maybe work in some different shades and textures. I hear corduroy and velvet are making a comeback.

At the end of the day, you want to look like you belong together, but you also don’t want to pull up looking like an army of nutcracker dolls. Make sense?

Lastly, everyone should feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Don’t put your son in an itchy wool sweater or tie a ridiculously long ribbon in your daughter’s hair, this will only make for restless and moody kids. As for parents, you want to feel good in your clothing, so pick something that compliments your body (mom) and fits you properly (dad).

Check out my dedicated 'What to Wear' post for more tips!

3. Talk to your kids (and husband) beforehand.

Children have minds of their own and getting them to cooperate for a family photoshoot can be a real struggle, even more so if the dads don’t show an interest. Trust me, I've seen it many times before. Make sure you talk to your kids ahead of time and let them know what is expected of them.

A little piece of advice... if you can, try and schedule your photoshoot for a time when your kids are at their happiest. During nap time is usually less than ideal, but hey, you know your kids best! It's ultimately up to them if they end up on Santa's naughty or nice list.

When it comes to your husband, explain why this is important to you and be positive about it! The last thing you want is for the session to become a sequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s not uncommon for men to be less than enthused about the idea of a family photoshoot, but with a little pep talk and a few words of encouragement, I find that most of them come around.

4. Communicate with your photographer.

Communication is key to a successful holiday photoshoot, not only with your family but also with your photographer. That's me! Please let me know what kind of look and feel you want for your photos, this is YOUR time to shine!

Find photos you like online or make a Christmas photoshoot board on Pinterest if that’s your thing, then share it with me. If you have a so-called ‘good side’ or prefer to have your photos taken from a certain angle, don’t be afraid to speak up!

On the other hand, if you're not entirely sure where to begin, no worries! After all, you chose ME as your photographer because you like my work, so just follow my lead and you'll be fine. I promise you're in good hands!!

If you happen to have ideas during the session, feel free to voice your thoughts but try and do so without disrupting the flow of the photoshoot!

5. Arrive well-prepared on the day of the shoot.

Now that you’ve planned your shoot and ironed out all the details (and hopefully your clothing too), it’s finally time for the big day!

You’ll want to arrive well-rested and well-fed for your family photo shoot, so be sure to prioritize sleep and nutrition in the days leading up to your session. Also remember to leave home with time to spare and arrive about 10 minutes early so that the kids can warm up to the studio and get comfortable with me!

Bring lots of snacks and water to keep everyone energized and hydrated. And if you think you’ll need additional treats to reward your kids for good behavior, bring them… but maybe save the sticky candy canes and melted Hershey’s kisses for after the shoot.

6. Be yourself and HAVE FUN!

The camera LOVES natural smiles and candid reactions. That said, it also picks up on awkward poses and unenthusiastic participants. I know that being in front of a camera can be both intimidating and nerve-racking, and many people dread the experience altogether, but there’s really nothing to fret about. Try and let loose, play around with each other, and spread some holiday cheer. You and your loved ones will cherish these photos and memories for years to come.

And there you have it! I hope you found this post helpful and if you happen to live in the Vancouver area, feel free to check out my holiday packages. I’m happy to help in any way I can. Oh and click here to see more of my holiday photos!

Psst! If you know you'll want 2+ photography sessions over the next 16 months, save some money and hook yourself up with a Bundle today!

Happy holidays and thanks for reading!!



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